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The purpose and role of special policy advisers.

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  • Essay length: 964 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies

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The purpose and role of special policy advisers has been a prevolent issue in the UK for over 30 years. The fact is that as time has passed, their role has increased, quite considerably.

There are two types of Special Adviser, one is appointed for their specific expertise, second is the more common, political appointment. They are appointed to a particular departmental minister to deal with a range of issues such as assisting with speech writing and being the political link between the minister and the party and with other bodies outside the department.

Heywood, in his book 'Politics', says, "By virtue of their expertise and specialist knowledge, bureaucrats or civil servants play a crucial role in policy formation, leaving the political executive to establish the overall direction of government policy." He goes on to say, "The bureaucrat's role is as the chief source of policy info and advice available to Government."

However, in actual practice, of late, it would be fair to say there is more emphasis upon the bureaucrat/special adviser, rather then the civil servant.

If we look at British Prime Minister's over the past 30 years, we

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